Wilderness Safaris is a big fan of the United Nations 2017 theme: the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Since inception in 1983, the business has been doing just that: making sure that the financial benefits they reap flow back into the countries and communities in which they operate, as well ensuring the viable protection – and rehabilitation if required – of these wildlife areas.
Wilderness Safaris’ new project in Rwanda is all of that… and more. It will have a far-reaching impact on the ecosystem of the Virunga Massif and the rural people living adjacent to it. To boot, the excitement at Bisate’s opening in June has been infectious. The Lodge has been listed as one of the ‘Best Wild Holidays for 2017’ in the Sunday Times UK and Ireland, as well in Escapism’s ‘What’s Hot List for 2017’; also AFAR mag’s ‘Where to Stay in 2017’ list featuring ‘100 places that will change your world this year .’ Other publications which have featured Bisate Lodge in just the last two months are BizNews, Bloomberg Pursuits, Conde Nast Traveler, Country Life, CNN, The Denver Post, Departures, Forbes, Houston Chronicle, The Independent, JustLuxe, The New York Times, New York Post, Orbitz, Le Point, Politiken, PURE Life Experiences, Travel + Leisure, San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, The Times, Ultra Travel, Vogue, Wanderlust Online and the prestigious Tatler Travel Guide. The world is certainly talking…
Artist impression of Bisate Lodge
This is what the Sunday Times had to say:
“In terms of comfort, you never really got your money’s worth on gorilla-watching trips to Rwanda. Lodges were adequate at best, and the food was basic, but you accepted your lot because if you wanted a luxury hotel experience, you’d have gone anywhere but Rwanda. Yet for Africa, which does luxury in extremis better than anywhere else on earth, the country was an anomaly. The reasons were clear: not only is the mountain gorilla Critically Endangered, its habitat straddles the chaotic Democratic Republic of Congo, so investing in luxury lodgings was always going to be a bit of a gamble. At last, though, Wilderness Safaris has shown it has the cojones to take a chance, with the impressive Bisate Lodge, which opens in an ancient volcanic caldera in June. It’s as indulgent as you would expect from Wilderness: six striking thatched domes offer utter luxury on the inside and extraordinary views of the forest and the surrounding volcanoes on the outside.”
AFAR went more in-depth about the conservation element:
“Wilderness Safaris will bring its brand of conservation-minded luxury to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one of the only places in the world to see mountain gorillas in the wild… Bisate is Wilderness’s biggest conservation project to date: The lodge is partnering with more than 100 area farm owners to rehabilitate gorilla habitats.”
And The New York Times reflects on how Wilderness Safaris is “reforesting more than 66 acres of habitat of the Critically Endangered gorillas, hiring mostly local employees and selling only locally produced items in its gift shop.”
The writing’s on the wall; so get packing!
Click here to read our lastest update from Bisate.
Written by Monica Jooste